How To Unscrew the Oil Filler Cap

Changing the oil filler cap is part of the process in changing engine oil in motorcycles and automobiles.  Normally, for those well versed in the auto mechanic world, this would not pose any problem at all.  For those who are not, however, this can be troublesome.  Common problems related to the oil filler cap include locating it and unscrewing it from the oil filler especially when this piece off the oil fill has served its time already.

What is an oil filler cap, anyway?  An oil filler cap is usually a black colored cylindrical part of the oil fill tank that covers the hole where the engine oil is poured.  In changing engine oils, it is removed along with the oil drain plug to make oil draining a little faster than usual.  It may also be unscrewed, once in a while, in checking the engine's oil levels.  

The location of the oil filler cap may vary in different automobile models and motorcycle models.  Naturally, it will be commonly found where the oil fill tank is.  It is made of black plastic with a raised twist tab.  It usually has the word "oil" or "oil fill" embedded on it.  Other oil filler caps have a picture of what looks like a watering can on it.  Most of the time, it is on top of a valve cover.  In motorcycles, like in the GL1500 Goldwing, the oil filler cap has a rubber O-ring.  If you still cannot find where the oil filler cap is in your engine, it would be best to consult the owner's manual on this.

Unscrewing the oil filler cap is basically easy when you have the right tools for the job.  More often than not, an ordinary pair of pliers is all you will need.  Should the cap be hard to reach or tightly screwed on, you may need to use a pair of needle-nose pliers.

If the cap will still not come off, you may use a screwdriver for leverage and just pry the top cap off.  It will separate into two pieces as a result.  When the top half of the cover is now removed, grab your pliers and unscrew the lower half of the oil filler cap from the valve cover.  Just snap the top half and the lower half of the oil filler cap together.  Since you have already separated them from each other, the parts may come apart the next time you will need to unscrew the oil filler cap.  It will now be best to buy a new one from the store.

Now that you already have the oil filler cap unscrewed, put it in a place that is safe and unforgettable!  Leaving the cap off may be dangerous not only to your engine but to you as well.  Your engine may catch fire when you start it without the oil filler cap on.  The best place to put it will then be over the hole in the hood latch so you cannot close the hood without putting the oil filler cap back on.


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